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In Treatment (tv program)

What keeps therapists motivated to help tough patients?

What keeps therapists motivated to help tough patients?

I was a big fan of the HBO series "In Treatment" when it ran a few years ago. The show was about a fictional therapist, played by actor Gabriel Byrne, who helped a rotating cast of characters work out their issues with incomparable wisdom and compassion.

I knew it wasn't the most accurate take on the profession — insurance never came up, for some reason — but it was a satisfying way to spend a half hour. Everyone is damaged, the show suggested, but everyone can be redeemed by an empathetic listener.

By the third season, though, I had heard enough. The cases felt less gripping, the office setting more claustrophobic. I found myself tuning out just a few...

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